Why California is Awesome

16 Dec

During law school orientation we had a speaker talk to us about the dangers of drug and alcohol addiction.  As could reasonably be deduced, lawyers were disproportionately likely to become addicted to AODs.

(All throughout that presentation, heads turned back and forth and bodies shifted a bit in their seats.  If orientation was any indication of our future careers in law, we were all doomed.)

I came across an interesting blog post from the New York Times tonight regarding alcoholism.  What’s especially interesting about it is that it emphasizes the environmental or social aspect of alcoholism:

If alcoholism is an addiction — which it is — how can people control their drinking just because it is no longer acceptable to get drunk? What about smoking, another addiction? Addicts are supposed to be powerless; is a little social disapproval more powerful than all the rehabilitation centers and 12-step programs and fancy new drugs?

Does fashion trump addiction?

Addiction specialists and scientists have identified three causes of most addictions: early trauma, genes, and environment. Still, addiction has eluded all attempts at a precise definition or a complete understanding. In most models, environment is thought to be the least of the three so-called causes. But maybe environment is the elephant in the room. In an environment where it is not attractive to get drunk, no one gets drunk.

No one likes a sloppy drunk, but everybody likes to have a good time.

This to me highlights the problem with attitudes on drinking in America.  If only we could lay rest to the old Puritanical views on alcohol and embrace the beauties of the drink like our European brethren!  Of course, Europe does have alcohol-related problems as pointed out by Eric Asimov in his newspaper column and indicated by the ban on drinking on public transportation in London earlier this year.

I would love to be able to have a beer or a bottle of wine in public, though I learned enough in torts to know this is a terrible, terrible idea.  Obviously, stumbling home drunk by foot is a lot safer than driving home drunk across the interstate.

But… ABC stores in Virginia?  The lack of beer at 7-11s and liquor at markets in DC?  What gives, man?

Back in California, I am reminded of how awesome it is: moderate weather, great food, nice roads.  And Pavilions is having a holiday sale on ALL their alcohol, and there are tall icy 40s of Olde E in convenience stores (not that I would ever drink them again, but still, it’s nice to have options).

It’s good to be a Californian.  As that patron saint of conservatism Ronald Reagan once said: “If the Pilgrims had landed in California, the East Coast would still be a wilderness.”  Amen to that, Ron.

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5 Responses to “Why California is Awesome”

  1. Shea December 17, 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    Hahaha. Nice post. At least you don’t have a country run by provincial (state) monopolies and antiquated federal trade laws! That said, I can’t wait to spend 18 weeks in California as of January 9th. Berkeley, here I come!

    Are you planning to return to California to work?

  2. Shea December 17, 2008 at 8:40 pm #

    P.s. I assume you are done your exams. Congrats on semester 1 – the worst of them all.

  3. Kris December 17, 2008 at 11:41 pm #

    So where in CA are you? LA I take it. You planning on making it up the the Bay Area at all this break? It’d be good to hang out and catch up.

  4. vinicultured December 18, 2008 at 1:58 pm #

    Shea–yup! 1L had its terrible moments, but overall I find myself liking law school a lot. The proof, as they say, will be in the pudding, however–hopefully it’ll be a delicious one.

    I think you’ll enjoy Berkeley greatly. For one, you won’t have to pay ridiculous prices for good wine! I think, in honor of your pending visit, I’ll have to do a retrospective of the Bay Area’s fine wine and dining on this blog. Hopefully you’ll find it useful!

    Kris–Though I am in LA at the moment I may very well be in the Bay Area over Christmastime with the family. If that happens, we should get lunch or coffee or something. It has been a while!

  5. Shea December 19, 2008 at 11:59 am #

    That would be awesome!

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